Shellfish Waters: Plans to Address Water Quality Issues

Source: NTIG Minutes, March 2021

Minutes highlight a number of issues with shellfish water quality

There are gaps relating to shellfish water when compared to other protected areas and pressures on these shellfish areas is increasing” BIM

LAWPRO
• Marine issues have been raised at ROCs and AFA workshops.
• Marine Working group established: this will progress issues locally where possible and escalate issues not solvable locally though WFD governance structures.
• There can be a lack of alignment between WFD ecological status and other indicators (e.g WFD does not look at E.coli or source of pathogens)
EPA –Protected Area Characterisation
• The EPA is taking a risk-based approach to the characterisation of Protected Areas, including bathing waters, drinking waters and shellfish waters. The risks for these protected areas are related to impacts on public health rather than ecological health, and so different data sources, models and tools are required.


BIM
• There are gaps relating to shellfish water when compared to other protected areas and pressures on these shellfish areas is increasing

DHLGH – Roadmap for the replacement of the repealed shellfish regulations
• The shellfish regulations were repealed in 2013.
• These regulations had designated 64 areas; new areas currently cannot be designated as there is no legislation to do so.
• The Marine Institute is currently monitoring these designated areas.
• A Statutory Instrument is being developed.
• DHLGH is looking at specifying monitoring and assessment requirements (threshold levels, EQSs); this will be informed by current Marine Institute work and reviewed by the national aquatic environmental chemistry working group

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